Woman fined for pregnancy

A Tibetan woman aged 19 years (name withheld) from Dingrae Dzong (county), Shigatse region, who arrived in Dharamsala on 2 September 1997, has reported the implementation of birth control policies in three rukhag (units) in the county and the growth of Chinese business and prostitution.

Birth control policy:

The source was told by her mother that the Chinese had arrived in the area about six months ago and announced that from that time onwards the farmers were to be allowed only 3 children and the government officials only 2 children.

The policy was put in force from this year. Pregnant women who had already reached these prescribed limits, were advised to have an abortion or they would be fined 1000 yuan. Where a couple had exceeded the limit but the children were born in previous years, they would not be fined.

The Chinese officials announced that this policy has been implemented in the three Rukhags (units) of Dingrae Shen: Maenthu Rukhag, Sharlung Rukhag, and Dongma Rukhag. Maenthu Rukhag is very small, comprising only 30 families, while the other two Rukhags are much bigger. The Chinese have claimed that they have so far collected about 40,000 to 50,000 Chinese yuan during 1997 in fines from the those who exceeded the limits.

The source reported that her mother was fined for the fifth child, who was born a couple of months ago. She says that her mother had a difficult time in paying the fine and that she had helped her to pay.

All women who already had the maximum number of children were advised to undertake sterilisation; carried out by means of injection or the insertion of a tube in the upper arm. (This latter procedure was reported on in our last update of 31 August 1997). The source had visited Lhasa earlier this year and had also heard of women there being inserting with this tube .

The source says she has heard of many women in Maenthu Rukhag having fled into the forest for fear of the Chinese birth control policy. “I have heard that many of the girls have been sterilised and a few of them have escaped,” she says, “The Chinese birth control policy is very strict and the fine has to be paid in a limited period.”

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